The Russellville Independent School Board discussed the budget for next school year at its monthly meeting on Tuesday and it will soon be looking at how to save money because of the early forecast.
“We’re looking at a $200,000 deficit in the budget for next year,” said Russellville superintendent Leon Smith. “We don’t have the exact numbers yet though. That is based on the SEEK formula, and knowing that there will be some reduction in other funding. We are going to have to do some planning this spring in order to meet our budget next year.”
Smith said the school board did not discuss any specific areas that could be cut, but he is hopeful that the cuts won’t impact classroom instruction.
“To be honest, in most school districts, the only flexibility in the budget is in your personnel,” Smith said. “There are fixed costs like maintenance that we aren’t able to do a lot about.”
It’s not all bad news though.
Smith said that the school district is currently about $147,000 under budget for this year.
“Financially we are in really good shape,” he said. “But trying to scrutinize our budget. We want to minimize any hit to our instruction and continue to make the improvements that we have been making recently.”
The school board also discussed a letter from the Kentucky School Boards Insurance Trust (KSBIT) that may also impact the budget.
The Russellville district participated in KSBIT from 1992-2008 and was recently informed that the trust is under funded by $50 to $60 million and members and past members may have to pay in again to make up some of that shortfall.
“There an unknown factor there, because what our cost will be toward that,” Smith said.
Also on Tuesday, the school board was recognized by Russellville mayor Mark Stratton and Smith as part of School Board Appreciation Month.
“We thanks them for their dedication and years of service and presented them with a gift,” Smith said.
Stratton also read a proclamation from the city in honor of the school board.